Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sagal and Ferguson on the 'Real America'

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's weekly quiz show, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, was a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS-TV on its Friday the 13th episode. During the interview, both Ferguson and Sagal had good things to say about my hometown, Milwaukee, and about the Midwest in general. The sequence began with Ferguson asking Sagal about the home base for Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, the City That Ferris Bueller Made Famous:

FERGUSON: But you like Chicago?

SAGAL: Oh, I love Chicago. Illinois is fabulous.

FERGUSON: Do you ever go north?

SAGAL: (startled) To Wisconsin?....

FERGUSON: Do you ever go up to Milwaukee, for example?

SAGAL: Milwaukee's a great town.

FERGUSON: I like that city.

SAGAL: Milwaukee's a great city, very good for sausages and beer,

(audience titters)

SAGAL: It's true.

(audience titters)

SAGAL: They'll laugh at anything.

FERGUSON: That's why they're here; that's what they're paid for....

SAGAL: Milwaukee's a great town. As you know (leaning in), because you're an American, that the Midwest is America. This is where America is -- processed meats, tasteless beer. This is where it comes from.

FERGUSON: I don't know. There are other parts of America, like New Orleans is America, the Pacific Northwest. Where's not America, clearly, is Los Angeles.
At the end of the interview, Ferguson and Sagal agreed to "trade places, like The Prince and the Pauper," with each hosting the other's show.

While the suggestion may have been made in jest, as it was sealed with a handshake, I would not be surprised to see, sometime in the not-too-distant future, Peter Sagal sitting behind Craig Ferguson's desk one night and Ferguson standing at Sagal's podium at the Chase Auditorium, posing questions to panelists like Mo Rocca, Amy Dickinson, and Paula Poundstone.

Will NPR and CBS accede to the experiment? Stay tuned.

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